8 Symptoms Of Rabies

Rabies is a disease that is caused by a virus. Rabies can be transmitted to humans from domesticated animals, such as dogs and cats, and wild animals, such as raccoons and bats. Once inside of the body, the virus makes its way to the brain where it begins to affect the central nervous system. The brain and the spinal cord are the first affected through swelling and inflammation. As the disease progresses, other organs are affected and begin to shut down. Without proper treatment administered in a timely manner, rabies is nearly always fatal to humans.

Because rabies is found in the saliva of infected animals, the majority of rabies cases in humans are caused by bites or scratches from one of these affected creatures. It is very rare for a person to contract the disease through other means, though it can happen. Rabies is completely preventable with the proper vaccination. Vaccination can be given prior to any exposure to high risk individuals. It can also be administered after exposure to the disease through a bite wound or a scratch. In order for the vaccine to prevent fatality, it needs to be given before the onset of symptoms. Rabies goes through an incubation period before symptoms show, from as little as a few days to as long as a few years, but most symptoms begin within one to three months from exposure, according to the World Health Organization. Once symptoms begin, individuals may have up to two weeks before death occurs.

While there are many symptoms associated with the rabies virus, some are more commonly seen than others.

1. Twitching Around Area Of Bite

Frequently, the first symptom that will be noticed will be around the region where the virus entered the body through a bite, scratch, or other exposure. This can be like a twitching feeling that spreads away from the bite. Muscles around the wound may seem to jump or twitch. Many people describe it as a shooting feeling, either by means of pain, itching, or a tingling sensation. Others consider it more like a burning feeling around the wound. Any of these feelings are caused as the virus makes its way from the site of entry to the brain of the affected individual.